Bed bank DidaTravel seeks expansion in UK market

Bed bank DidaTravel has appointed Paul Riches as a consultant as the brand tries to establish itself in the UK market.

Riches (pictured, right), who has many years’ experience in the bed-bank sector, told Travel Weekly he wants to turn DidaTravel into “one of the major players” for the UK trade.

DidaTravel, which has a portfolio of around a million hotels, started in China in 2012 before expanding in the Asia-Pacific region and more recently seeking growth in Europe.

Frank Wöller, the company’s vice-president of business development for the EMEA region, said: “The UK is one of the key markets where we want to grow.”

Wöller, whose team of four includes Riches, said DidaTravel is trying to appeal to large Atol-holders with an interest in long-haul destinations.

“We want to give them availability and pricing that they wouldn’t get themselves,” said Wöller, adding that the online B2B distributor would both compete with and “complement” well-known companies in the sector.

DidaTravel is on track to have its products on several of the UK’s main technical platforms by the end of the year, according to Wöller.

Most of the hotels are in China, Thailand, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines, with around 70,000 being directly contracted.

DidaTravel has already taken part in UK trade events – including WTM London – and both Wöller and Riches indicated that the reaction has been positive. 

Riches said: “The reason I came on board was to see if the appetite is here in the UK – and I think it definitely is.”

DidaTravel also sells flights as well as tours and activities, but hotels are the focus.

Photo: Frank Wöller and Paul Riches

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